The majority of vehicle accidents that occur on U.S. roadways are the result of human error. Some of these accidents fall into the relatively-minor category, but other more serious crashes take the lives of thousands of people each year. In 2018, there was an estimated car accident fatality count of 40,000 people. Drivers must assume responsibility for driving cautiously and obey all traffic laws. However, being a safe driver does not guarantee that everyone else on the road will be doing the same.
If you are involved in a crash that is not your fault, the negligent party should be held responsible. A skilled auto accident attorney will know how to pursue this for you. A car accident claim can be filed to help you recover expenses and receive financial compensation for the damages you have suffered.
The following is a collection of common causes of vehicle accidents in the U.S. By familiarizing yourself with these specifics, you may be able to notice another driver presenting such behavior, and you may be able to help prevent a collision.
With advancements in technology such as smartphones and touchscreen center consoles, the concern over distracted driving has increased over the past few years. The dangers of driving while using a phone have led 39 states and D.C. to ban the use of cell phones while driving for new and inexperienced drivers. Laws such as these are in response to the large numbers of serious injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving. In 2017, distracted driving killed 3,166 people. In fact, roughly one-fourth of motor vehicle crashes are the result of distracted driving.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) describe alcohol-related driving criminal acts. In all 50 states (except Utah), DUI and DWI occur when a driver operates a motor vehicle over the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. Drivers operating their motor vehicles over the legal limit may face criminal charges. Unfortunately, impaired drivers aren’t always caught. They often cause an accident that causes injuries and death. In 2017, 10,874 people were killed in drunk driving accidents.
It is an unfortunate fact that many drivers on the road travel at an excessive rate of speed. In 2017 there were 9,717 people killed as a result of speeding, according to the National Highway Transit Safety Administration. Speeding accounted for about 26% of automobile accident deaths in the same year.
Most driving infractions are treated by law as if they are unintentional on the part of the driver. Motorists will still be punished for their actions, but the penalties will generally be lesser since the driver often lacks intent for the traffic infraction. Under Georgia law, there is a different class of motor vehicle infractions that are looked upon as worse than an ordinary traffic infraction. If a driver is guilty of aggressive driving, he or she will receive a greater punishment than they would for a “regular” traffic violation. Furthermore, if drivers are involved in an accident when they are driving aggressively, they could face greater civil liability for their actions. At the same time, those injured by aggressive drivers may be able to recover more for their injuries.
The dangerous, slippery conditions created when it rains can directly be linked to a higher rate of accidents on the road. In conditions of low visibility and excessive amounts of rain, drivers would do well to pull off the roadway until conditions improve. Most weather-related auto accidents occur on wet pavement and when it rains, or shortly after it has stopped raining.
Running a Traffic Light
When approaching an intersection controlled by a traffic light, drivers should behave in such a manner that they can stop easily if necessary. It is unwise to enter an intersection when the traffic light is yellow, and it is illegal to enter an intersection when the light is red. Running red lights causes thousands of accidents each year and an estimated 890 fatalities were recorded in 2017.
Driving at Night
Visibility naturally decreases when the sun goes down. Staying extra alert at night and using full headlights can better help drivers maneuver through road hazards. Approximately 50 percent of adult drivers have admitted to driving while drowsy. Consider that an average adult needs to sleep between seven and nine hours daily. It may be shocking to find out that a driver who loses two hours of sleep reacts similarly to a driver who has consumed three beers. Statistics indicate that the risk of a fatigued driver being involved in a crash is three times higher than a rested driver.
Automobiles are not flawless machines. Defect recalls take place from time-to-time and should be heeded. It is also extremely important to regularly perform maintenance and necessary repairs. Automobile manufacturers and auto parts manufacturers have an obligation to ensure and guarantee that their products are reasonably safe for public use. If they do discover that there are dangers, whether currently known or discovered at a much later date, they have an obligation to inform and announce the defects to the consumers to warn them of the potential dangers.
Other common reasons for auto accidents include:
- Improper Turns
- Wrong-Way Driving
- Young Drivers
- Dangerous Roads (potholes)
- Tire Blowouts
- Animal Crossing
- Construction Sites
Contact our Firm to File a Lawsuit
Even the best and most cautious drivers can find themselves involved in an accident due to another person’s negligence and careless driving. If you are an individual who has been injured in an accident, you need to find out your options for holding the negligent party accountable. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Contact our legal team at The Eichholz Law Firm right away so we can discuss any potential financial compensation to which you may be eligible.